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49ers become the third team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl after a 4-win season

An incredible season, but we’re not done yet

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Fresh off an NFC Championship win that sent Green Bay packing, the San Francisco 49ers are just the third team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl. The Bengals and the ‘99 St. Louis Rams were the other two teams to accomplish this feat. It’s been a crazy season, to say the least. Raheem Mostert almost set the NFL rushing record in a game. He did become the first player in history to run for over 200 yards and score four rushing touchdowns. Let’s take a moment to thank a few other NFL teams for that:

Then

Every team makes mistakes and cuts players they regret, but, man, was Mostert that bad? You could see during training camp he had skill. Mostert just needed an opportunity. He moves at a different speed than everyone else. Defenders have a great angle on him, and Mostert eats it up. Mostert has been on seven different teams and said during the postgame; he still looks at the cut dates.

Okay, so Bill Walsh and Kyle Shanahan. Both reached the Super Bowl during their third year of coaching the 49ers in seasons where they finished 13-3. The season before Walsh won his first Super Bowl, the Rams lost. In 1981, rookie Ronnie Lott had seven interceptions and returned three for touchdowns, which led the NFL. Fast forward to this season, and the Rams lost the Super Bowl last season, while San Francisco had a dominating rookie(s) in Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel. To think this coaching staff was headed to Mobile, Alabama, to coach in the Senior Bowl this time last season.

This time last season, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s job security was in question. A season later, he led the best defense in the NFL, and they proved it in two playoff games. Aaron Rodgers didn’t crack 100 passing yards until the third quarter. Thanks to a few late bombs during garbage time, his numbers look respectable. Aaron Jones came into the game as a top running back, and he finished with 56 yards. The Packers finished 3-9 on third downs and turned it over three times.

That was the story of the game — that, and the Packer’s inability to run the ball. Seriously, at what point was Mike Pettine going to adjust? He was daring Shanahan to run with a numbers advantage in a lightbox. Shanahan is not one of these new wave coordinators. He’s going to make you pay for your mistakes. He’s done that two weeks in a row.


Game Nuggets

The 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl for the seventh time in franchise history. Kyle Shanahan and his dad Mike became the first father-son duo to reach the Super Bowl as a head coach. The team’s 285 rushing yards were the second-most in postseason franchise history, and the sixth-most by any team in the postseason since 1970. That 285 rushing figure is also the most in a conference championship since 1970 as well.

With 14 carries for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, Mostert became the first player in the Super Bowl era with 150-or-more rushing yds. and 3-or-more rushing touchdowns in one half of any playoff game.